Apropos ‘Roadmap to digital rupee is not too clear’ (October 19), as a prelude to launching of central bank digital currency (CBDC), the RBI has come out with a concept note on various aspects, including policy implications, design, etc.
When viewed from the highest altar, it looks good that India is moving forward in launching its own digital currency.
But two key points that need to be focused from a common man’s point of view are: data privacy; and financial integrity of CBDC transactions.
Data protection/privacy, being a critical factor on which a lot of discussions are taking place, will be more critical with respect to CBDC as the system allows access to many intermediaries besides government departments.
Also, a proper mechanism to address legal issues post introduction of CBDC is a key point to be taken note of by the relevant authorities.
This refers to ‘OTTs are telecom growth drivers’ (October 19). Albeit OTTs offer few services akin to telcos, they both aren’t indistinguishable.
Regulating OTTs analogous to telcos in the name of level-playing field isn’t rational.
Compared to telcos, OTTs disperse communication through varied channels and to a larger audience spread over the globe.
Extreme regulation of OTTs, along with creating an impediment to innovation, could also impinge on the right to ‘freedom of expression’.
Hike in MSP
This refers to ‘Centre hikes MSP of wheat’ (October 19). The government hiking the minimum support price for wheat by ₹110 per quintal to boost domestic production and farmers’ income is welcome at this juncture of decreasing procurement of wheat for public stocking to ensure food security.
Even after the hike, the mandi price is higher and more lucrative to farmers. Hence they may prefer the private market.
To get the needed quantum of procurement, the government should go in for market-based MSP that is higher than the mandi prices.
FTA with UK
This refers to ‘Deal, no deal’ (October 19).
With the UK’s economy in the doldrums and its citizens facing an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis, prudence suggests the government displays pragmatism in sealing an FTA (Free Trade Agreement) with that country under the present circumstances.
Any attempt to fast- track the FTA with the UK now is fraught with the risk of aggravating our economic woes.
British Prime Minister Liz Truss’ series of flip-flops in her dealing with a raft of challenges confronting her country’s economy has not only cast a big shadow over her ability to steer the economy from its crippling quagmire, but also raised questions about her longevity in the chair of prime minister.
Signing an FTA deal at a time when the UK faces the prospect of political instability does not augur well for our economy.
With the global economy staring at recession in the wake of the Russian war on Ukraine and the resultant spike in energy prices leading to a surge in inflation, India cannot afford to adopt a hasty approach in striking FTA deals with other nations.